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Harry Reid Decides to Take Yes for an Answer

Harry Reid decided he could take Mitch McConnell’s offer to give him exactly what he wanted after all.  

Reid’s decision comes a day after an odd sequence where Majority Leader McConnell of Kentucky offered up a “clean” Homeland Security funding bill shorn of immigration provisions, only to have Minority Leader Reid of Nevada spurn the offer in lieu of a capitulation by Speaker John A. Boehner.  

Boehner, R-Ohio, hasn’t yet said he’ll swallow a clean bill, but with House Republicans insisting the Senate act first , it appears the path for averting a shutdown is now crystal clear: McConnell and Reid will try and pass a clean bill as soon as they can muster it — probably Thursday — and then the House will have the hot potato with effectively a take-it-or-own-the-shutdown proposition.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“If the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Boehner, is interested in doing a funding measure for the Department of Homeland Security, it has to be one that has no tricks, no riders,” Reid insisted.

Of course, to get any bill, even one Reid and McConnell agree on, through the Senate in time will likely require the acquiescence of hardliner Republicans to hold a vote. In past shutdown showdowns, none of them, however, have used the Senate rules in a way that could have forced a momentary shutdown.

Reid said no Democrat would stand in the way of a clean bill.

“This is a very, very big deal. There’ll be nothing from us to slow it down,” he said.

Reid, however, continues to oppose moving to a standalone bill blocking Obama’s immigration actions until the Homeland Security funding bill is done.

Sarah Chacko and Sara Smith contributed to this report.

Related: On DHS Funding, House Republicans Agree to Wait on Senate House GOP in Holding Pattern on Funding DHS McConnell Throws in Towel on DHS Fight, but Reid Waiting for Boehner to Cave McConnell Offers Plan to Break DHS Logjam Hoyer on Short-Term DHS Bill: ‘Cross That Bridge When We Come to It’ Senate Democrats Show Limits of GOP Spending Strategy DOJ to Appeal Immigration Ruling Immigration Ruling Casts Shadow on Obama’s Legacy Reid Allies See Immigration Fight Helping Re-Election Boehner: House Has Done Its Job to Fund DHS White House Thinks GOP Will Blink on Immigration Action Obama: Back Immigration Action Because of Christmas, Bible Obama’s Own Words on Immigration Are Republicans’ Best Ammo Obama Immigration Action Full Speed Ahead The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

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